a flight attendant attending to the remaining survivors. >> really brave. the crew, wanted to stay with the plane and make sure everybody was off. we kept telling them, get down, get down. >> reporter: the first responders managed to get few stranded on board to safety. only a few, thanks to passengers like ben levy who saw rescuers arrive as he helped other people escape. >> i just told people we're okay, come down, start getting out. leave your things behind, help each other. fairly quickly, a lot of people started going out through that door. >> reporter: today in china the distraught families of the two 16-year-old girls killed in the crash left shanghai for the united states. while in korea, survivors of the crash returned home to begin long and painful recoveries. in san francisco, the focus on men and women who answered the call to duty. >> we're the only cavalry that was there. nobody else was coming right away. we had to stand there and whatever we could do, we had to do it. >> reporter: risking so much to help so many survive. john yang, nbc news, san francisco.